Advocare 24 Day Challenge & Easy Meals

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If you follow me on my other various social networks, you know that I have recently started the ADVOCARE 24 DAY CHALLENGE! How exciting. I’ve spent months and months wondering what the heck Advocare was, and thinking it was some silly little fad-diet where they tell you to eat nothing and go on a liquid diet and take fat burner pills etc etc etc. After a couple of phone calls with Drew, one of my crossfit coaches, he explained everything Advocare has to offer! On my own, I learned that Advocare sells quality products that are not only extremely reliable, but they WORK! I spent time going through personal Advocare success stories on the internet and other social networks, and decided that Advocare was just what I needed! Now that I have graduated college, I’ve decided it’s time to finally beat my plateau! It’s been about two years since I’ve been at my most comfortable weight, and I’m done with settling with the uncomfortable!

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So, it’s Day Two of the challenge and I’m already feeling great! The first ten days is the cleanse phase. I will do more updates as the days go on, as two days is almost too early to talk about too many results – but so far I’m feeling good! Today, I got a procedure done on my lower leg and have to lay low for a while. My doctor told me that I need to go two weeks minimum without workout out, and we will reevaluate then. Meanwhile, I need to wait one month until I squat, all so I don’t tear my stitches apart. I was pretty bummed out that this was all happening around the challenge. Though, I figure it’s a good sign because the challenge will keep me on track while I am not active! I hope to start working out my first weekend of work. I make the big move to NYC next week and I am so excited to start my internship. I’m hoping Advocare will help keep my energy high for those long work hours! Other than Advocare, I like to make sure that my food is also my fuel for the day. Here are a few meals I’ve had since I’ve started the challenge:

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1/2 Cup Quick Oats, microwaved for 2 minutes with 1 cup of Water. 1 Tablespoon Slivered Almonds. 1 Large Strawberry. 1 Cup Egg Whites, with some dollops of horseradish mustard & hot sauce!

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This was 1/4 cup (uncooked) Quinoa, 5 oz Ground Turkey, and 1 cup Mushrooms, 1/2 cup Zucchini, 1/2 Large Tomato, sautéed!

For lunch today, I had 3/4 cup Brown Rice, 6 oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Mushrooms, 1/2 Large Tomato, and 2 tbsp Hummus! I wish I took a picture of that because it was delicious. The hummus was a perfect addition to my meal!

Stay tuned for more easy meal ideas and inspiration during my 24 Day Challenge!

Yours Truly,

Stef

 

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Top of the Months Transformation: RJ Murray!

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Introducing: RJ Murray
I couldn’t think of a better person to be a part of my Top Transformation posts! RJ Murray and his family have been close family friends to us since I can remember, as they live right behind us! Our whole community is in awe of RJ’s transformation and are so proud of the athlete that he turned into while playing college football! RJ has always been a great, kind, and caring person, but it is amazing to see him grow into a healthier version of that! He was patient in his journey, as that six pack didn’t take a few months! Check out what RJ has to say about his journey, it is truly inspiring!
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Give me a brief summary of yourself and your journey.
My name is R.J. Murray and I’ve lived in Columbia, MD my whole life. I’ve always been on the bigger side and was honestly accepting of the fact up until college.  In high school, I continuously made excuses for myself saying that I was “big for football” or giving some other sport related justification as to why my weight was out of control.  At some point or another, I actually started believing my own excuses and completely let myself go.  Once college hit, athletics became a huge part of my life.  I played football for Salisbury University and the experience helped me drastically through the process of making a lifestyle change.  My senior year of high school I weighed nearly 260lbs with an outrageous BFP. (body fat percentage) After graduating high school in 2008, I decided it was time to make a change.  In a matter of 6 months in 2009, I lost nearly 60lbs of excess weight while adding a good deal of muscle.  That being said, a true transformation takes years – it takes much longer than 6 months and certainly doesn’t happen overnight.  I continued playing football, working out, conditioning, and most importantly – dieting to this day and have seen great results.
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What changes did you make to your diet in the beginning to get you where you are today?  And what does your current diet look like?
In the beginning, start slowly eliminating destructive habits and foods.  It should be easy to justify not eating out.  You’re not only getting healthier, but also saving money.  It’s important to make a plan.  Pick a diet and only buy what’s necessary for the week when you go to the grocery store.  This should also save you money by eliminating waste and unnecessary snack foods.  Just as in exercising, the results of dieting don’t show overnight.  It takes time – if it was easy we’d all look like Greg Plitt or Lazar Angelov. Put in the work, stay committed, and reap the results! 
My current diet:
Meal 1: 8 oz. griller sirloin steak, ½ cup dry oats ( ½ scoop whey protein, ½ banana, 1 tsp. coconut oil, 1 tbs peanut butter, 1 tsp. instant espresso, 1 tbs. cinnamon), ½ cup blueberries
Meal 2: 8oz baked/grilled chicken breast, ½ cup brown rice or 6oz (½) baked sweet potato, 1 cup steamed green beans, hot sauce
Meal 3: 1 scoop whey protein, ½ cup raw almonds
Meal 4: 8oz baked/grilled chicken breast, ½ cup brown rice or 6oz (½) baked sweet potato, 1 cup steamed green beans, hot sauce
Meal 5: 6oz broiled salmon, 1 cup green beans
Meal 6: (Pre-workout) 1 scoop whey protein, 1 banana
Meal 7: (Post-workout) 1 scoop whey protein, 1 cup dry oats or 1 scoop carbogain, 1 scoop glutamine, 1 scoop hydrolyzed BCAA’s.  45 minutes later: ½ lb. bison burger, 1 Ezekiel English muffin, 2 tbs. reduced sugar ketchup, 1 cup steamed broccoli.
Meal 8: 1 scoop whey protein, 8 egg whites, ¼ cup minced peppers and onions
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Rj’s new lifestyle had made him so much happier as a person. He looks forward to working out and it gives him goals for the day. It also has made him more organized. His ability to stay in control and stick to his diet is really inspiring. -Cara Murray
What were your goals?
Short term:  I wanted to be a better athlete.  I wanted to play football and be the best that I could be.
Long term:  I wanted to be healthy… I’m certainly not genetically gifted in the health and fitness department which makes working harder that much more important.  Working out is more than just enhancing appearance; it’s about living a healthy life.
What do you do for exercise?
I use a mix of weight training (power lifting/bodybuilding/crossfit), cardio/conditioning, and sports.
When did you decide to change your life and what motivated you the most?
As I mentioned in the summary, after graduating high school in 2008, I decided it was time to make a change.  In a matter of 6 months in 2009, I lost nearly 60lbs of excess weight while adding a good deal of muscle.  That being said, a true transformation takes years – it takes much longer than 6 months and certainly doesn’t happen overnight.  I continued playing football, working out, conditioning, and most importantly – dieting to this day and have seen great results.
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What is the best advice you can give to those who have similar goals (or personal goals in general) in mind?  What do you think is the main reason why some people find it so hard to reach goals such as the one you achieved?
Don’t make excuses for yourself.  If you want to see results, you have to put in the work. Nothing is more irritating than hearing someone say that “its genetics” or “it’s impossible.”  To be honest, either is an embarrassing lie.  The real reason is because you play x-box 6 hours a day, you and the guy at the drive-through window of Wendy’s are on a first name basis, and you’re lazy and uncommitted.  Get off your ass and do something… It doesn’t matter what; just get up and do something – anything.  Change your diet slowly.  Adjust your body to natural, wholesome foods and get rid of processed junk.  Stay on the outskirts of the grocery store and force yourself to work with the ingredients you find there.  If you don’t go through the aisles, the temptation won’t be there.  Every 3 or 4 weeks, change everything… workout routines, diet, etc.  Find what works for you and even when you find it, change it and come back to it… Introduce your body to new things.
What (and who) helped you the most through the process of bettering yourself?
When you’re in the process of making a serious lifestyle change, family and friends are always the first to support you.  Following suite, my family and friends were extremely supportive and helpful throughout the process.  That being said, when going through the process of turning a “health kick” into an actual life style it directly boils down to how interested you are in bettering yourself.  The support and help comes from your personal dedication, motivation, and discipline as the one experiencing the changes.  Use your support for yourself as a main source of motivation and feed from help and support that your friends and family give.  If I had to pick something that directly helped me the most, it would be football.  Playing football through high school; and more specifically, college, kept me active and focused.
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How has your life changed since you reached your goals?
Generally, I’m the same guy that I have always been… Obviously, there have been some physical changes such as energy levels and appearance; but the biggest change is the drive to wake up in the morning with a purpose. Always look to better yourself in every way possible.  This lesson extends further than just the weight room or football field but can be applied to every aspect of life whether it is work, hobbies, relationships, etc. Wake up with a purpose and be the best you can be!
What are you going to do (now that you’ve reached success) to maintain your progress?
If you keep the outlook that you never reach success and always strive to be better than you were the day before, you’ll never have the chance to settle.  Settling is one of the worst things you can do in any situation.  Always push yourself to the next level.  I plan on continuing weight training and conditioning as well as dieting appropriately to reach whatever goals I have at the time; waking up with a purpose and aiming to get better every single day.

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Yours Truly,

Stef

IIFYM, Eat Clean, Paleo – What’s Next?

I recently got a little made fun of for my “Clean Eating” mantra, which inspired me to briefly go over what it means to #eatclean. So there are a million different ways of eating out there, and I’ve tried a few of them.

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I started dieting with an IIFYM approach. At the time, I had no idea that I was even following this fad. For those of you who are out of the loop, IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. I don’t like to get all scientific, but this ones science. You need a caloric deficit, Calories in, calories out, yadda yadda… “science”. Anyways, IIFYM promotes flexible dieting. It is a GREAT approach for beginner dieters, and those who are just starting their journey towards awesomeness.  IIFYM was the main reason I was so successful with my weightloss journey. I counted my calories on an app called My Net Diary. In my About Me, I listed a few foods I ate that helped me get in the groove and drop a few pounds. Because I wasn’t completely restricted to chicken and broccoli, dieting became fun. I have undiagnosed OCD, and my diet was something I had complete control over, and I liked that. I fit Special K cereal into my diet, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a healthy serving of pasta and chicken for dinner, all as long as it fit into my available macronutrients! I was not limiting myself, but I was controlling my portions and measuring serving sizes to make sure I was on track. Paleo people cringe at the thought of IIFYM. That’s because it technically allows processed foods, dairy, gluten, anything and everything. If you really wanted, you could have a pop tart for dinner. If it fits your macros. Fitness competitors also use IIFYM to make “gains” in their off season. From my research (brought to you by Instagram, Twitter, etc), IIFYM seems to be commonly used by those with an already fast metabolism and those who are just discovering the calorie counting process and benefits of changing your diet. It seems that many people start with IIFYM, and move on to a cleaner diet eventually when they want to reach some serious goals. Though IIFYM is often abused, I have no negative thing to say about this diet strategy because it is all about what works for you. If Pop Tarts and Reeses get you to where you need to be, so be it.

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And this is where my thoughts collide. I’ve recently been trying to find a balance in my diet and mind about food. As I said before, I started with an IIFYM approach. Now, I often find myself cringing at the thought of processed foods. Not to mention, I am gluten and dairy intolerant, so IIFYM would make me just as limited. So yeah, you’re following science. You might be eating chicken and veggies for lunch, but Reeses and ice cream for dinner. Ah! Filling your body with chemicals you can’t even pronounce? You might be fitting in your calories, but your insides are not thanking you. There is actual research that proves that these foods are poisonous to your body. They are also very addictive, as well as chemically made. Not real food.

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So you opt for a bowl of cereal instead of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Yeah, they might have the same macronutrients, but there are more cons than pros. One including, those processed foods increase your serotonin levels (I’m talkin’ science, people). Serotonin causes you to be drowsy, tired, and lazy. When I follow my #eatclean way of eating, which is as close to Paleo as possible, everything gets better. And yeah, I mean everything. I feel energized. My skin shines, my hair looks healthier, my thoughts are positive and clear, and my body just feels right. But also, who the hell can eat one serving of Reeses cereal without going for round two? Not me. Reeses are the bomb dot com. Anyways, what I was trying to mention in the top of this paragraph was that I’m trying not to be so gosh darn anal about what I put in  my body. Yes, it’ll help me in the long run, but sometimes you have to throw your chicken and broccoli out the window and stop at Taco Bell. Also, nobody wants to go out to eat with someone who isn’t going to eat. For example, Friday night we went to a Burlesque show at one of my favorite local restaurants, Jackie O’s. They have an unbelievable gluten free menu. I was wondering all week about what I was going to eat there, because I am really trying to follow my plan! There’s a difference between a healthy lifestyle and trying to lose weight. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can’t throw out your chicken and broccoli for Taco Bell. It is important to follow your diet to the best of your ability, your body will thank you later.

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I thought maybe I would just eat dinner before we went, but then I thought about how not fun it would be watching everybody chow down on pizza. They have burgers, so I ordered the morning burger, which is a burger with an egg on top! No bun, no cheese. And yeah, I ate the chips, thanks Chardonnay.

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Okay, back to clean eating. Clean eating doesn’t mean you spray your food with windex. Clean eating means you opt for food with as little ingredients as possible.

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I started getting into the #eatclean fad when Instagram became more popular. Sophomore year I would follow all these profiles with great clean eating recipes that looked delicious. I was in the dorms, so I started #eatingclean with the best of my ability. Our market at school sucked. There were no fresh fruits, veggies, or meats. So I bought what I could at the market and the rest at the grocery store. When I went to the dining hall, which wasn’t that often, I would get a salad or a deli sandwich on wheat bread. I was lucky if they had chicken and brown rice. In my dorm room I would have oatmeal for breakfast, or Smart Start cereal with added FiberOne cereal and fruit. I also got egg beaters and microwaved them with broccoli and would make sandwiches with those Whole Wheat Flat Out wraps and thins.  I was obsessed with Wasa Crackers and the Laughing Cow Cheese wedges. I would spread those on the Wasa crackers with some Deli Turkey meat and have a baggie of carrots and broccoli for lunch. My snacks were apples, veggies, bananas, or granola bars. I was trying to follow a low-fat diet at the time, so I didn’t have peanut butter as much. But when I did I would make peanut butter and banana sandwiches. For dinner I would have the One Minute Ready Rice cups, with microwavable chicken and veggies. I steamed my veggies by putting them in a microwavable bowl with water for about five minutes.

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My body slowly started craving more fresh foods, and by junior year I was in full force with my clean eating lifestyle. Not to mention, I actually had a kitchen to cook in. Perks. So I started really cooking for myself my junior year. Breakfast was omelets, with Feta cheese! (Oh how I miss cheese sometimes) Sometimes I just had oatmeal or yogurt with granola. That was before I got into putting protein in almost every meal. For instance, sometimes for dinner I’d have soup and salad. Sometimes the salad would have a protein in it, sometimes it wouldn’t. I still would enjoy a nice sandwich every now and then (I may or  may not have just started drooling because I really want a sandwich now, it’s the little things).  My junior year is also when I started getting a lot more into Crossfit and lifting. I was gaining a little muscle and getting stronger without even realizing it. I started researching how to eat for performance, and started eating like an athlete. For instance, I started making protein and vegetables my main focus, and keeping carbs involved for performance and recovery.

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Once I started noticing the gains I was making from Crossfit, I couldn’t stop! And that’s how I got into Paleo. Somehow, Crossfit and Paleo are paired up. After my research (also brought to you by Instagram, Twitter, etc) I now realize that most crossfit athletes don’t even eat a Paleo diet. Anyways, I grew a girl-crush on Juli Baurer’s PaleOMG website, and really thought Paleo would help me lose weight!

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You figure if you’re eating meats and veggies, nuts and seeds, fruit and fish, and healthy fats, you would lose weight, fast! Well I didn’t exactly lose weight. I’ve heard of many successful weightloss stories from the Paleo diet, but my results were not consistent and I learned that it was not for me. My body changed though. I realized what it actually felt like to be happy, mentally and physically. My physique changed. My booty lifted, my shoulders broadened. I started to actually look like I at least worked out from time to time. (Which is all why my diet is still mostly Paleo, anyway) Any fitness nerd has that goal in mind. You want everyone to see how hard you work, and your body is a reflection of that. I think that’s my biggest frustration with my body. I kill my workouts, but my stubborn body is not giving me the results I KNOW I can get. Hence my recent diet change. I’m putting everything I know that has worked together. Lifting, HIIT, Cardio, a clean diet, a meal plan, counting calories, and a few moderate treat meals here and there! I know that I have accomplished a lot, and I am more than proud of myself for doing so! I’m hopefully on the road to the body that I have worked so hard for.

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I know I’ve mentioned this a million times throughout my blog, but I can’t stress this enough. It’s not what you’re friends are doing, not what your instagram idol is doing, and sometimes… it’s not even 100% what your nutritionist is telling you to do. It’s what works for you. You have to be well rounded. You aren’t going to get anywhere by depriving yourself, but you also aren’t going to get anywhere by constantly rewarding yourself with food. I’ve shot and missed a million times, and eventually you start knowing your body better than any advice column can tell you.

Yours Truly,

Stef

Indulge Without the Bulge

My last post was sweet and everything. Actually, no… no it wasn’t. There’s always the ever dreaded questions I receive. For example: “Do you ever eat good food” “Do you ever crave sweets?” “Do you even eat sweets?” “What do you do when you crave normal people food?” Haha. Normal people food? What does that even mean? What is normal people food? I’m assuming they are talking about the processed foods, the stuff that “tastes good”. The stuff in packages. The stuff you get at our schools dining food market. “I have a feeling you never eat like..queso and chips” So I laugh, because technically I can’t even eat queso anymore. Those were the days. But I guess I’m better off for it. I can’t count the amount of times I made trips to the market with my roomies back in the dorm days to prepare ourselves for a snack attack. Octopus gummies, chips and queso, oreos. It happened, I just never let it happen too often. Discipline. There is no greater feeling than self discipline. So just because I eat healthy 90% of the time I’m all of a sudden not normal? I have my fair share of fat Sundays and “YOLO” moments. Those moments where you just put the burger to the face. Skittles? Yeah sure, it’s Tuesday. Chipotle? Totally, I mean it’s Wednesday. But…if you treat everyday like a holiday you go from treating yourself to cheating yourself.

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The answer to all the above questions is, yes, I do eat good food. I do crave sweets, and I eat them too (sweet potatoes mostly). But what do I do when I crave “normal” people food? A lot of different things. I was about to explain to you guys that I “allow” myself about one cheat meal per week. Then I decided to reword that sentence. I allow myself to eat what I want to eat at all times. It just so happens that I want to eat healthy 95% of the time. And 10% of the time I don’t. It overlaps. 5% of that 95% of time that I want to eat healthy, I don’t. Mainly because I will go insane if I don’t treat myself with a greasy meal and a few beers (approximitly 10) with my friends. (just kidding about the 10 beers.) So when I’m craving a nice hardy meal and order in with friends, I’ll tell you what I eat. My chipotle order is white rice, chicken, fajita vegetables, salsa, guacamole & lettuce. Sometimes I’ll even get double meat. Treat yo’self. I will sometimes order a Gluten Free, no cheese, pizza from Dominos or Athens local brewery and restaurant, Jackie O’s. They also have gluten free buns for hamburgers. Hey. Girl. Hey. It’s halloween so I bought myself two packets of skittles. One for Halloween weekend and one for the actual day of Halloween. I’m trying to be more flexible with myself and my diet in the healthiest way. Yes, skittles are no where near healthy but it could be much worse. There are times when I don’t want to completely go off the paleo clean eating bandwagon, so I treat myself in a moderate, non traumitizing, non expensive, way. Here are a few meals I eat at home. These are not recipes, just ideas on how to have a great tasting, healthy, treat meal.

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1 Rudi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bagel, 2 tbsp Natural Almond Butter, 1/2 Banana

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In need of extra carbs & fats? 1 Slice of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, 2 oz Sweet Potato, 1 tbsp Nut butter of your choice (this was peanut butter), 2 oz chicken thigh. You can use any protein you want. It’s just as good with ground meat or an egg. Experimenting with food can really turn out delicious…

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Sometimes I get really annoyed of cooking. I pace my kitchen a million times because I can’t figure out what I want for dinner. I don’t feel like heating up vegetables or cooking anything that has 1 oz of effort in it. My appetite was so suppressed that I really just wanted something sweet and delicious. I plopped 2 Vans Gluten Free Waffle in the toaster. I was going to spread peanut butter and banana on both sides, but then realized I was completely lacking protein. At the end of the day, protein is what keeps me feeling satisfied and full. I decided to heat up some leftover chicken and do my own take on chicken and waffles. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, so on 1 waffle I put 1 tbsp of Peanut butter and 1/4 of a banana. I heated my chicken, put it on the other waffle, and poured some agave maple syrup on top (not too much). It was absolutely delicious. This meal was about 450 calories and 30 g protein. Not bad for something that looks like a pile of junk!

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I can’t express to you how crucial sweet potato fries are. Everybody loves fries, right? Did you know you can lose weight while still eating fries? Sweet potato fries, that is. Cut a medium sweet potato into whatever shape you want your fries to be. I usually do circles or normal fry shape, but you can get as creative as you want… Soak your sweet potatoes in olive oil. Don’t take that and run with it…use about 1 tbsp of olive oil. Salt your fries. There are many different ways you can make your sweet potato fries. I sometimes put cinnamon instead of salt. I’ve seen people put seasonings like garlic and onion powder too. That, you can get creative with. While your preparing your sweet potato fries, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. I typically leave my fries in for about 20 minutes. It quite honestly depends on how patient I’m feeling. The picture above shows peeled sweet potato fries. It is up to you whether or not you want the skin on, but keeping it on makes a crispier fry. Enjoy!

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Oatmeal! I love oatmeal. I typically eat Glutenfreeda instant oatmeal. There is so much variety you can put into your oatmeal. Sometimes I go with bananas and cinnamon, and sometimes I go a little farther. Pictured is cinnamon oats with slivered almonds and cherries on top. I also put about 1 tbsp of shredded coconut into my oatmeal. Other times, I’ll add a tablespoon or less of almond or peanut butter. Other topping ideas include: raisins, mixed berries (blueberries are my favorite), any nuts/nut butters, egg whites (added protein, not added flavor), ground flax seeds & chia seeds, and chocolate chips if you’re feeling rebelious.

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Pretty sure I ate this on a heavy deadlift day. I was lacking carbs, starving, and hadn’t really been able to eat much that day juggling my classes. I toasted two slices of Udi’s Gluten Free bread, spread 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter (half on one piece, half on the other), and added about 4 oz of sweet potato to my sandwich. This is a game changer.

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Picture above is a little dessert I made for my brother. Yeah, its vegetables, and yeah, it was delicious. I microwaved butternut squash in a little water and coconut oil. I added shredded coconut, a pinch of salt, a lot of cinnamon, and who knows how much almond butter. When I made this for myself, I used about 1 tbsp. Rumor has it it tasted like a Cinnabon.

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Pretty self explanatory. Gluten Free Rice Chex Cinnamon Cereal. My go-to when I’m in need of cereal.

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So the only thing different about this meal is the fact that instead of eating a plain burger I actually put it on a “bun”. Filled with a whole plate of vegetables.

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And last, God Bless Chipotle.

Now this is a Ramble

Okay so where did we leave off… something boring about egg whites and microwaves. I haven’t blogged in a while. I have two excuses. One, I’ve been ridiculously busy. I like it. And two, I’ve been having really bad wrist pain. I don’t like it. I’ve always had bad wrists, but they’ve been acting up. My doctor said something that helps is less time on the phone and computer, so I’ve been neglecting both, kinda. If I don’t text you back it’s not personal, my wrist hurts.
Another thing, I’m exactly one week into the Whole Life Challenge. I’m doing really well, I’m actually surprised. I thought it was going to be tough to not eat any nuts or nut butters, and cut back on fruit, but its been going smoothly. I’ve been upping my calories, and that’s where things are getting better. My energy is better, including during my workouts. I don’t have that mid day sluggish need for a nap. I’m digesting perfectly, which has been a problem with me for the past couple months. I feel really really good. I know it’s crazy to say after only a week, but I feel like I’m already starting to see results. I’ve also been getting some PR’s at Crossfit. The weekend after the fourth of July, I did a few unassisted pull ups in each round of the workout.
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I completed the regional wod with 135# squat cleans. It was a tough one. A different curse word was screamed for each squat clean but, I finished.
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I also PR’d my backsquat at 235#. And this morning I turned my one rep max deadlift into my three rep max; 260#. PUMPED! I think it all has to do with how well I’m eating. Also, how awesome my coaches are (shoutout). When I got back from the beach I couldn’t wait to start the whole life challenge. Amy and I are doing it together. We prep our meals every Monday together, and constantly text each other about what we’re eating, when we’re eating it, and why we’re eating it. We’ll also send eachother pictures of what we’re eating, or in my case, I’ll send her pictures like these:
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Because I’m weird.
These are some pictures from the beach; Amy is the one in the middle, hey girl hey.
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All you can eat Maryland crabs. The best of the best.
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A beautiful run on the beach.
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Last but most certainly not least. Margaritas.
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It was a great weekend. Me and Amy both finished off a full bag of Old Bay potato chips, in honor of the start of our whole life challenge. That was fun. Last weekend was also a good one. One of the coaches at Syndicate, Jess, plays on the Baltimore Charm football team. She’s a beast, and she kicked some serious ass. Most of the gym showed up. I’m really glad I went to support her! It also gave us all time to jam out in the car to the new Jay Z album. That shit cray. (ha…)
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And the rest of the weekend was dinner with grandma and the Crossfit Syndicate one year anniversary picnic. (So many pictures, I know, but I love pictures.) At dinner I ordered steak & a sweet potato. Something I eat anyway, but for some reason it was amazing. Sunday, at the picnic, there was some amazing food. BBQ Chicken, brisket, a million paleo desserts. I was bummed I couldn’t try them, but they looked amazing. I attempted to make a Paleomg recipe for Magic Brownie Bars. I tasted a corner of them when they came out, but everyone said they were delicious. I’ll post the pictures, and the link to the recipe underneath. I tried to double the recipe, I think next time I’ll just…not…do that. So they can turn out better.
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(I wish this food processor was mine…totally borrowed it.)
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Before…
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…and after. Mine did not look like this. Someone mentioned at the picnic that they looked like onion brownies. I can’t say I disagree. After the picnic a few of us went back to my house to swim. That was so fun! Crossfit pool parties need to be a weekly thing. I’m thinking yes. Especially in this heat. I nearly died in the workout yesterday, luckily I finally woke up for the 6 am workouts today. (Maddie threatened me…) Felt so good to get up and get through a workout that early. I might turn into a 6 am regular. Though the comradery of the evening classes is what really gets me hooked.
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So after I just bullshitted through paragraphs and pictures of things people don’t exactly want to read about…I’ll talk about food. Nutrition. Diet. Health. Whatever you want to call it. I’ve been shooting for 50 g protein in each meal. Instead of 4 oz of protein with a meal, I’ll go for around 6. Depending on the meat I am eating. This gives me higher calories, higher protein, and an all around filling and fueling meal. I’m eating more, but I feel skinnier. Wait I’m sorry, skinny isn’t in anymore. Stronger. I feel stronger. I eat most of my carbs post workout. I used to be the opposite, though I still make sure I get a good enough carb source with my “pre workout meal”. I just operate better that way, it works for me. My other meals consist of healthy fats and proteins. I started this blog because I was chefing up a storm…but now my meals are honestly pretty plain. For example, this dinner I had.
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Is it pretty? No. Is it instagram worthy? Nope. But it is what it is. Protein, fats, carbs. This was a dinner I had after a workout. It was the end of the week… so it was pretty much all my scraps from meal prep. This was my post workout breakfast this morning:
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Italian turkey sausage. 1 Egg, 1 Egg White. 1 Medium sweet potato. 1/4 Avocado. It was large, and I was starving. Heavy deadlifts will do that to you. I’m already hungry again. It’s 10:45 in the morning and I’m about to eat Tilapia. GROSS. But also, yum.
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This was a lunch last week. Loved it. 6 oz Tilapia. Guac & Asparagus. It was absolute perfection. But…my wrist is starting to hurt so I’m going to call it a day. Definitely doing a post on my obsession with Lamburgers this week. Stay tuned for that, and prepare yourself for amazingness if you decide to buy those Lamburgers from Roots Market. I’m not even going to edit this post… so I hope you enjoyed my spelling & grammer mistakes and my week in review.

When you’re left with…

A bit of a sweet tooth. A craving (already) for oatmeal. But you’re not allowed (says who?) to eat either. You get really creative.
Now if you don’t already know, I’m doing the whole life challenge. Basically, for myself, this means no more oatmeal, stevia, brown rice, GF breads, walden farms dressings, syrup, honey, and limited fruits and nuts. Sugar hates me, and I hate sugar. I will be in agony for hours having abdominal paralysis symptoms if I have too much sugar. For example that smoothie from smoothie king before I started the whole life challenge. Close to 200 g of sugar. I’m not sure I even eat that much sugar in four days. BYE SMOOTHIE KING. The thrill of getting smoothie king was not worth the stomach ache, dizzy spells, etc. The only fruit I’ve been eating lately is bananas and pineapple. Pineapple is great for digestion, and bananas are the shit.

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But I will attempt to limit my fruit intake to see if I notice more successful fat loss. Nut butter is also the most amazing thing to grace this planet, so I will also be limiting that. Not a complete elimination, but limiting.
So. Whole life challenge. No gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, artificial sweeteners, processed foods. I dare people to eat only real food for a week, I guarantee a difference. You might feel hopeless, especially starting from scratch. Not many people understand how to cook for themselves. Society cooks in microwaves now so…I guess you can’t blame the people. Blame the microwaves.
Anyways. I made the most amazing meal for my last meal. I had been thinking about it all day and I’m really glad I went with it (my life’s exciting). So simple. Packed with protein. Some carbs. Perfect before bed and if you need to get a little extra calories in your system. It also kind of reminded me of oatmeal…which you know I love.

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3/4 Cup Egg Whites
1 Medium Banana
Cinnamon (don’t go overboard)
Feel free to mix the serving suggestions to your liking. It is a very small meal. Would be great for a side dish with some steak and veggies for breakfast.
Looks like I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow… See ya.

My Relationship with Breakfast

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Yesterdays Breakfast Pizza.
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Egg whites
2 Slices of Applegate uncured turkey bacon
3 Turkey Sausage Links
2 tbsp Quac
400 calories, 20 g fat, 3 carbs, 49 protein. Winning.

Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but it is usually the most delicious. I’m pretty sure I start looking forward to my breakfast for the next day the second I finish my breakfast the day before. That or I’m just constantly thinking about food.
My breakfast choices have really evolved throughout the years. There was the special K strawberry cereal days, the smoothie days, the waffle with peanut butter and banana days (probably the best days), the oatmeal every god damn morning days (which I still linger in), or the straight up one piece of fruit I gotta go days. Now none of these are necessarily poor choices, but they hold a lot of useless carbs in them. I’m a big fan of healthy carbs. I would never hesitate to have some sweet potato with breakfast. Carbs are important to keep you fueled and energized, and I feel best when I’m sustaining my carb intake. I always went for the carbs first thing in the morning approach. There is nothing wrong with that, but I have recently been educated otherwise; so now I’m shooting for more evening/post workout carb intake. I typically would have little to no carbs for dinner, which is when I workout. I will talk more about timing your meals to go with your workouts another time, as I am still learning.
So breakfast. You have your common breakfast; eggs, bacon/sausage. Add some avocado in there and that sounds perfect to me. I personally love breakfast bowls, so much that I even make them for lunch sometimes.
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Spinach, a fried egg (or two), some breakfast sausage. Add avocado for healthy fats to start your day. There are a million things you can do with eggs. Eggs with lox. Eggs with avocado and lox. Frittatas. Omelets.
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Loved this omelet with veggies, corn, and beans(paleo).
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So I already went over overnight oats. You can find my current go-to recipe there. Or you can just make your oatmeal in the morning, if you like it hot. I add anywhere from a half to a whole banana, and a half or a whole tablespoon of nut butter. The nut butter is only added on occasion. Add any toppings. I always add cinnimon. Raisons are perfect (my stomach doesn’t digest them well). Blueberries are good too. I also add egg whites to my oatmeal. You can’t have a meal without protein…it’s just awkward.
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Egg white oats, cinnamon, 1 whole medium banana, 1/2 tablespoon of almond butter. Paleo

Then there is breakfasts that I make when I’m ridiculously hung over. It doesn’t happen often, but we all have those days. My breakfast quesadilla is no where close to paleo nor is it exactly “clean”. But it’s not dirty.
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1 Rudi’s gluten free tortilla wrap. 2 eggs scrambled. Turkey bacon or sausage. I added Daiya gluten & dairy free cheese. I’ve made them recently with no cheese, to stay away from products that are too processed. The bacon makes it greasy, so if you’re looking for the McDonalds sausage mcgriddle replacement to your hung over mornings, it almost barely is as good. Which is saying something. Yum. My second go-to for a hungover morning is sweet potato pancakes. Those are too good to not make a separate blog about, so you’ll have to wait. My breakfast muffins recipe will also be coming soon.

Moving on: Frittata’s. I make frittata’s all the time. They are delicious, simple, and great for a weeks worth of on the go breakfasts and snacks. All you need is a pan of your choice. The amount of ingredients will vary if you have a smaller pan. Below is a little video.

Original Video – More videos at TinyPic
1 dozen eggs
3 cups veggies of your choice
(I used Broccoli, Tomato’s, Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms)
Salt & Pepper to taste.
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And last; Egg White Wraps:
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3 tbsp of egg whites. Cook it like a pancake. Make sure its cooked enough to flip and not ruin it (lesson learned from attempt number one). Use it as a wrap. Put whatever you’d like in it. Lox & Avocado is a prime choice. Make more than one, I’m pretty sure 3 tbsp of egg whites is like negative 20 calories anyway.